As reported in the OC Register, Video gamers storm Anaheim for BlizzCon. BlizzCon returned to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday after a year hiatus. In addition to the thousands physically in attendance, an untold horde of fans of the Irvine-based gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment are gluing themselves to their PCs to watch live streaming video of the event online.
For 19-year-old Andrew Platt, BlizzCon is like Christmas. He looks forward to the event so much he dreams of it, and drove 10 hours Thursday from his home in Utah to make it to BlizzCon in Anaheim.
He’s not alone.
Fans of Blizzard Entertainment’s mega franchises “Diablo,” “Warcraft” and “Starcraft” are storming the Anaheim Convention Center for the two-day sell-out BlizzCon conference Friday and Saturday.
Folks like Platt are among more than 20,000 people gathered for the return of BlizzCon to Anaheim, after a year hiatus. In addition to the thousands physically in attendance, an untold horde of fans of the Irvine-based gaming giant Blizzard are gluing themselves to their PCs to watch live streaming video of the event online.
They’re looking for details about how the more than 3,500 people who work at Blizzard plan to open their carefully crafted video gaming titles to an audience much larger than its loyal PC fan base. They’re hoping for a few surprises as well.
The company is prepping its first free-to-play title, “Heroes of the Storm,” its first mobile game, “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft,” and is doubling down on the September release of its first home console game in more than a decade, “Diablo III,” with an expansion next year called “Reaper of Souls.”
BlizzCon dates back to 2005, the year after the company launched its biggest money-maker, the massively multiplayer online game “World of Warcraft.”
“WoW” is a still played by 7.6 million people, many paying $15 per month to live in its virtual world. But that number is down significantly from its peak of 12 million subscribers in 2010, and Blizzard is expected to use the event to unleash details about how it expects to bring people back to the game.
The company skipped BlizzCon last year and held a “Starcraft 2” tournament in Shanghai instead.
“Blizzard games aren’t really games,” said Platt, who started playing Blizzard games at age 5 and has put 6,000 hours into them. “They’re like a way of life…there’s so much more time that you can put into them. They just never get old.”